Jessica Lee, LCI Account Coordinator here.
Summer is finally here, and that means sun, beaches, BBQs…and maybe even a summer fling? I’m no dating expert by any means, but while honing my pitching skills at LCI, I’ve noticed that certain flirting techniques can be applied to media pitching, and vice versa. So, for a sizzling summer both in and out of the office, check out some of the ways to get your media hits – and to hit on the guy/gal you’ve got your eye on:
Always do a background check
What’s the first thing you do when you meet a potential love interest? Google him or her to make sure they’re not a total creeper, and to dig up some first-date conversation starters, of course! When it comes to pitching, doing some Internet stalking is also a good idea. By reading past articles reporters have written or even looking them up on Facebook or Twitter to see what their other interests are, you get a better idea of the type of information they’re looking for. I’ve also found that referencing a reporter’s past work is a great way to make your email stand out from the flood of pitches they receive every day.
Pick up that phone!
Speaking of emails, one of the keys to success in dating is to stop emailing and texting, and pick up that phone! It seems phone conversations have become a lost art, so much so that my friends and I have come to classify a phone call as an indicator of interest (“He actually called? Guys never call! He must really like you!”). I admit, I’m really not a phone person either, but I’ve learned that in the PR biz, it’s a lot easier to form connections when you can have a dialogue over the phone. For example, we’re pitching editorial calendar opportunities for one of our clients, and instead of emailing editors to ask about certain articles, we’re calling – and in striking up conversations, we’ve been able to find out what other stories the publications are working on, and have gotten real-time feedback from editors about our pitches and our clients.
Take advantage of summertime fun
Like I said earlier, summertime is full of fun activities – BBQs, pool parties, music festivals and more. These are perfect, low-pressure opportunities to ask out that hottie and get to know him or her in a group environment, so don’t be shy about extending an invite! Likewise, I’ve seen that summer is a great time to pitch features writers, who are looking for content to entertain adults, kids and families looking for summer fun. Newspapers and magazines always write about topics like sunscreen, summer grilling and travel destinations, which is great for us PR people. At LCI, for example, my colleague Heather and I have been successful in latching on to these trends to get coverage for our clients around safe grilling and boating safety.
Patient guys finish first
You know those great love stories: guy meets girl, girl isn’t interested, guy and girl become ‘just friends’…and a few years later the girl finally comes around and they fall in love. The moral of this story is that a little bit of patience and persistence could turn your summer fling into the real thing. As much as we might want a quick ‘hit’ when it comes to dating and media results, it can pay off big time to build up a relationship. I’m learning that if a reporter doesn’t seem all that interested the first time you chat, you shouldn’t give up – keep calling and following their work, and you could end up with the story of your dreams, as my colleague Alicia did, with a big story in USA Today. (Of course, if a reporter or your object of desire is giving you clear signals they’re not interested – giving you a flat out “no,” getting a restraining order, etc – then you may want to move on!)
So, now that you’re armed with these fabulous dating tips and are ready to make a move, here are some Buzzworthy date ideas. Happy flirting! Now who wants to buy me a drink?!
Nick’s Crispy Tacos – Check out Taco Tuesdays for $5/2 Coronas, $3 margaritas and $2 tacos. Talk about a cheap date!
Free museum days – Several museums in the city offer free days each month (de Young, California Academy of Sciences, Legion of Honor, Exploratorium) – a fun alternative to the usual dinner/drinks/movie date!
Sens – Test out your date’s dance skills at Sens, a Mediterranean restaurant by day, a lounge/club on Saturday nights. Great drinks and beautiful views of the Ferry building too!